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5 Indoor Physical Therapy Activities to Try at Home

Oct 28th, 2021 | by Amelia Kan

Amelia Kan

October 28th, 2021

If you have already been doing therapy at home, you may be due for some fresh ideas to keep your kids moving. We wanted to bring some low-cost DIY ideas to the table to keep your kids entertained, burn some energy and work on their gross motor skills.

1. Balance Beam Towel

Create the balance beam by folding a towel lengthways. Start wide and then move to a narrow fold to make it more difficult. Your beam can be used to walk the plank like a pirate or walk over the bridge, so you don’t fall into the hot lava.

To introduce variety to the activity, have your child move across the towel in different ways, including heel toe walking, sidestepping, or single leg hopping. You can also see how long your child can hold a single leg or heel toe position without stepping off the towel. This exercise works on your child’s dynamic balance and motor planning.

2. Cushion Stepping Stones

Find all the large/small cushions or bed pillows around your house and lay them out on the carpet. Have your child step on and across them in a fun-filled task-specific way.

The scenario may require your child to gather stuffed animals and carry them to safety one by one. It is recommended not to do this on tiles or floorboards, as the cushions can slip around.

To make the activity easier, firmer cushions that are close together are ideal. To increase the difficulty, use compliant cushions or vary the different heights throughout the course. This exercise works on your child’s balance, motor planning and step length.

3. Scattered Soft Toys

This exercise works on your child’s body awareness (aka proprioception) and visual scanning. Scatter your kiddo’s toys across the room and have them move through the maze of objects without touching or bumping them over.

Instead of just walking, you can have your child try 4 point or bear crawl, run or jump through the course.

4. Balloon Volleyball

This classic activity works on motor planning, hand-eye coordination, body awareness, and turn taking. The game aims to keep the balloon up in the air for as long as possible. To challenge your child, have them use their feet or just one hand.

To make the activity easier, blow the balloon up bigger, allowing it to float slower making it easier to locate in the air.

5. Races

This activity can include any objects or tasks and requires creative thinkers.

To begin, set up a start and finish in any way you would like. Then decide in collaboration with your child what way they should move towards the finish. This could include rolling, crawling, running, jumping, dribbling a ball or wheeling a wheelchair. Keep track of the fastest finishing times to measure progress over time.

BONUS Video: 3 Dynamic Balance Exercises to Try at Home

About the Author

Amelia is passionate about empowering families and children to be independent, confident and develop in their everyday life. She believes children learn best when they are having fun and working towards their goals.

TAGS: Blogs, PT
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